tv [untitled] June 7, 2011 5:00pm-5:30pm PDT
study into research. closing mason street will do mason street is used as a thoroughfare to get passengers from union square to knoxville -- nob hill. if you close the part of mason st., they have to circle back around, and that adds more money and more time to the fair and also puts more traffic and necessary in that north beach area, and drivers take powell street, then you have a problem, because that is at the main edge of chinatown, and trying to get
through there is a headache. you drive all the way from union square to fisherman's wharf, you try that. tell me if mason street is not the most efficient, safest, and most productive way to get tourists and visitors to the city who are staying at the hotel and who we would pick up in the area, visiting from out of town or coming from the up side area, and get over to the fisherman's wharf area, so it is going to create a problem and create traffic unnecessarily in the area, and i appreciate you also look at that when you want to improve taxi service. well, you yourselves by closing mason street is going to hurt taxi service. >> excuse me, sir, i believe you already had an opportunity to speak.
president chiu: sir, you had an opportunity to comment on either the eir or the other. the reason we allow them to speak is specifically the city -- >> if you cut me off, you are cutting off -- president chiu: the city attorney has devised us that they could, and again during the public comment period of the other hearing items, but all the other members of the public, you had your opportunity to speak. thank you, sir. thank you, sir. are there any other members of the public who would like to speak to are opposed to the north beach library, who want to
reject the eir, or who are opposed to any of the other items? if not, why do we not hear from the planning department on the presentation? >> good afternoon, president chiu: , supervisors. the department has received numerous letters, phone calls, and emails in support of and in opposition to the proposed project. we have also confirmed with the clerk of the board that no supplemental materials from the appellants have been submitted after the appeal deadline. comments received were addressed in the comments and responses on the draft eir. the issues raised by the appellant deal with land use and resources and the range of alternatives studied in the eir.
all of these issues have been adequately addressed in the final eir. in terms of land use, the final eir accurately reflects the condition of the project's site at the time the department commenced in burma to review, which is consistent with ceqa requirements. 701 lombard, where the library plans to blame it -- build a new branch. moreover, it is not clear how the showing of the previous board meetings addresses this with respect to the eir. the eir eliminates the impacts with the association -- with the closing of the parking and a new library at 701 lombard street. a reorganization and improvement of playground features. the eir also includes six studies, north and south of the
library, to evaluate impacts using the mason street corridor it, and in addition, it includes simulations show in the library and views from surrounding places. with regard to historic resources, the appellate states that the eir lacks a about a mission of the cumulative impact. the eir includes an extensive analysis of the project and cumulative impacts and finds the north beach library eligible for listing on the california registry of historic listings. the eir indicates that the master plan demolition of the existing branch will result in a significant and avoidable environmental impact. it also finds that the north beach branch and four others, including -- could make a potential multiple property
listing or a contiguous historic district. the eir views the impact associated with demolition of the branch. because the eir indicates adverse impacts with resources, it is required to and evaluate. the final eir includes an analysis of 10 alternatives. a thorough and detailed level of analysis and more details. the final eir illustrates that six of the 10 would avoid the massive index and would be compatible with the master plan objectives. i would also like to clarify, contrary to testimony, the eir does evaluate alternatives to avoid the impacts, and specifically, the seven
expansion alternative -- in meets most of the project sponsors objectives and deals with the open space on the 701 lombard street parcel. this is shown on a page of the eir. further, we believe that the comments and responses is related to the historic resources and all of the other issues. after review, the appellant has not raised any issues that have not already been addressed in the eir, nor have we heard anything that alters our conclusions with respect to the eir findings. staff respectfully requests that the board of polled this and deny the repeal. this concludes my presentation, and i am available here with my staff members if you have any questions. president chiu: colleagues, any questions? supervisor wiener?
supervisor wiener: i have a question for the city attorney. we rejected a landmarking of a library, but decide that fact, some people look to pursue the national register, despite a stated objections from the mayor and the president of the board of supervisors to represents the district, and the state preservation commission did vote it forward, that nomination to the national park service, and can you explain what that means for this appeal? i know that the eir very explicitly stated that this was
eligible for inclusion on the national register, but now that it has been nominated, the impact on our analysis today. >> john from the city attorney's office. through the president. the fact that the state historic preservation commission has initiated a process misting this building on the national register does not affect in any way the eir, analysis before you. we took a conservative approach to their and assumed that the building was a historic resources. we also assumed it was part of a potential listing of other buildings, and we analyze that very thoroughly in this environment impact report. the fact that another state body is pursuing this action is really irrelevant at this point to the eir analysis. i believe we and knowledge that
in our appeal response that is before you today, and that process in some ways is just beginning. they have to go through many more steps before anything might happen at the federal level. president chiu: colleagues, any other follow-up questions for planning? typically, at this phase, we would hear from the project sponsor. we have already heard initial presentations from the library and from recreations and park. why do we now not moved to vote members of the public and feel that the board should uphold the eir or otherwise support the north beach library? .if you could line up in the center aisle. >> mr. president, supervisors.
i submitted a very detailed email note to you, going through great detail all of the points raised in this thing, so i am not going to be labor you with that. just a couple of quick comments. as yogi berra said, this is deja vu all over again, that a handful of people could continue to hold up the city and county of san francisco public project is beyond comprehension. the master plan for the public library and the playground has the approval of the recreation and parks commission and the recreation and parks department, the san francisco public library commission, and the san francisco public library, and the planning commission. it has widespread support among the residents of north beach, as evidenced by the collection of over 1000 names on the petition. unfortunately, a lot of these folks are families with kids and
working people, so they will not be here today, but i can tell you they are real people. enough time and money has been spent defending this project from a tax of a few folks that see that there is only one way, their way. it has like been playing -- whac-a-mole. harry truman had a sign on his desk and that says "the book stops here." we should say the nonsense stops here. thank you. president chiu: thank you. next speaker. and we appreciate members of the public allowing parents with young children to go. >> i am a north east to -- north beach resident. this is my second time speaking on behalf of the library with my children.
i just want to speak as a property owner and parent and 13-year resident of north beach to say that we parents have been looking at the plans for the new library with eager anticipation, and the more time that has passed, we are wondering when the library will be built, the more research that we have been doing, and i really want to thank those of you who are here who have voted in favor of moving the library forward. i have been really impressed as i have done more research to see the amount of work and the amount of compromise that has gone into this, and i have been very excited to see the momentum of the library project has been building steam, and i just want to say that we as parents, who right now do not have stroller access at our library, do not
have a safe playground for our children to play at our very, very excited about this and really appreciate it for this momentum to continue. thank you. president chiu: thank you. next speaker. >> hi, my name is lisa. i am a resident of north beach, a library patron, and i also speak on behalf of an elementary school supervisor campos: commissioner torres: supervisor cohen: . -- i oz's begun the of of the elementary schools pto. -- i also speak on behalf of the elementary school.
we are renters and owners. we are young people, older people, and all ages in between. we have different backgrounds, different income levels, and we speak different languages it. but with one strong voice, trying to be strong, we say please allow our densely populated neighborhood to have a library and parks that we deserve. please allow us to of both the library and a park that are more accessible and more user- friendly. please allow us to of both the library and a park and make the best use of the limited space available. please allow us to of both the library and a park that our community and our city can be proud of. future generations will think you for providing them with these new and well-designed facilities, and we are currently living in the community think you for your support for this plan. [applause]
president chiu: thank you. i should remind members of the public that we have a world where we do not allow expressionists and that to allow a good steady flow. next speaker, please. >> good afternoon. howard. i will say i am for all four items. please approve them. san francisco has 27 branch libraries. this is the only one that has either not been renovated or build a new in the last 10 or 11 years. even if they break ground tomorrow, all of the other ones that are under construction will already have been done, so this process could go on and on and on, but as the first speaker said, it is time to make a decision. the eir process is not designed to achieve the platonic ideal of the best of all possible worlds.
it is designed to explore the environmental impacts, and that is defined very broadly, and to explore the reasonable potential alternatives, and i think as was demonstrated, and as everyone else does to support the project, all of those have been considered very thoroughly. there have been a lot of meetings with a lot of information and a lot of input all across the spectrum. one other thing i would simply add is in terms of disability access, all of the of the branch libraries or or in the process of being a fully accessible. this library, even of all of those different alternatives, there is just simply an inevitable trade-offs, given the fact that this library is really on four different levels. this is an inevitable trade-offs between preservation and disability access, so if you were to put a big elevators
sticking through the roof line, you would end of diminishing the character defining features that people point to as the features that make it worthy of preservation. another example would be the entrance designed. the primary interest is presently closed and under other alternatives would be closed because it is not accessible, so i am not suggesting that this be driven by access, but access is an important factor, an important thing to consider, if you cannot make a fully accessible without diminishing the historic aspects of it. you cannot fully preserve the historic access. please support the project. thank you. president chiu: thank you.
next speaker. >> the san francisco public library commission, and i want to thank you both as the president of the commission and as an author. i want to thank the current board and their predecessors for the consideration you have given the branch library project process over the past decade. i was taught by my people that no one can note own the land, even when what was called the little guy was paid a huge amount of money for the land. no one could own it. as people and as municipal officials, we are stewards of the land in the city, and i believe the san francisco public library has been an exemplary steward in this role. all of us have sifted through hundreds of pages of information, and even some of it
is factual. here are the most important facts and why i believe the board of supervisors would want to support the eir and the master plan. the public library has followed the most rigorous model of civic engagement to gather public input at every step of our design and building process for every library facility, for every neighborhood, including the most literary of our literary landscapes, north beach. the majority of a library users at each opportunity have voiced their support of the new library in a renovated playground -- and a renovated playground. the current library does not meet global -- legal 88 -- ada guidelines, and i think that should guide our decisions. when kids leave the library,
they can leave the playground, cross a not particularly scenic blog of mason st., and get to what the previous speaker calls open space but what i call an unsightly parking lot. if you look past the stacks of paper which have been heaped in front of us and keep our eyes on the prize, what we will see is that 50 years from now, and the kids who now use the library and play in that park will be sitting on benches in a dream corridor where mason street used to be. they will be watching their own kids or grandkids play on a renovated, expanded playground, as was intended. 50 years from now, our unique, state of the art north beach library building will be coming before the historic
preservation commission to receive its well-deserved landmark status. thank you. >> president shoot -- chiu and supervisors. i received this little yellow flier in the mail. a piece of propaganda that i decided to show up. now that i have listened to all of the points here, whether one has a narrow literal interpretation of the trying offer open space, meaning that the triangle has to happen on that exact site, or whether holistic glee and whether that triangle enables an open space.
i also raised my children in this city, which was a very hard thing to do, and i was able to do that because of a great part in our neighborhood. i am about to be a grandmother, and i would like to be able to take my grandchildren. the columbus st. try and go with all of the traffic going by -- the columbus street area, with all of the traffic going by, you're going to want to be on the inside of the park, where it will be warm and sunny. thank you. >> president chiu, supervisors, i am a architect. i was asked to do a designed
your review of the new north beach library, and as a result, i am here to respectfully urge you to please approve the eir, the ceqa language, as well as any plan amendments to get this project built soon. i will summarize my conclusions. i believe you have a letter that will give you more detail. in summary, i will say that this project is a work of architectural excellence and urban design excellence. architecturally, as the architect described, it will, in fact, be a lantern to this neighborhood. it was several light filled rooms as well as more intimate spaces for reading. more importantly, it will provide additional space for community meetings and literary meetings which go beyond what we can currently do with a library and will not interfere with ongoing library activities. important is that it has two
entries, one on columbus st. and the other at the park. this is a very unusual line. i think it will be a very, very important quality of this connected library and this community. finally, for the urban design excellence, i began by saying this starts with the placement of it. as a parking lot or as others have said could exist as a park, having an architectural piece there is the right thing for this neighborhood. it will help bring it together, and very importantly, the closure of this residual piece of mason st. will eliminate eight pedestrian unfriendly and vehicular confusing part of the city and will provide a park which is not what two major streets but is protected by a library on one side and recreation on the other.
in summary, in my conclusion, this is an absolute gift to the neighborhood and to the city. i would strongly urge you to have this project go forward. thank you. >> sean madison, north beach, in north beach resident and also a new father. i just wanted to comment publicly on the many friends and families i know in the north beach area that has struggled to stay in the city, and this plan is an extraordinary, extraordinary step fort in making another neighborhood a very family friendly place. thank you. >> supervisors, i have lived for over half of my years in north beach, and i think that the
present plan is excellent, and as previous speakers have said, the fact that they want to place the library on the trying " and protect and create a much better playground for young children is extremely important, and also, we should remember that the computer has changed a way of the library is being used, so the existing library is totally obsolete, and i think the original man would have agreed if he were alive today. they would be extremely unhappy if we installed -- that is very expensive. thank you.
>> hi, my name is kim. i have lived on telegraph hill for 19 years on montgomery street and would really like to see this new library done saying. nobody i know who is opposed to this -- this is a great billing by any stretch. it is really time to replace it, and i hope you do that. thank you. president chiu: thank you. next speaker. >> hi, my name is sam, and i played baseball with my friend at the park, and it is really hard, because there is basically no grass to play on, so if you fall, you can really hurt yourself. thank you. >> my name is mark. i am sample -- sam's sam's dad,
-- sam's dad, and there is my wife and my daughter. my wife, full disclosure, she is a librarian, has been talking to me about this for about 10 years. i have been listening to this for 10 years, and to think that maybe i have to listen to it for another 10 years, i mean, please, make this happen. how much more do we need to talk about it? it is not perfect, but let's get it going. president chiu: thank you. next speaker. >> my name is -- i have lived in the neighborhood for 52 years, and i think we yet been talking about it for half of that time. let's do it. there are